"A Very British Transition" - A Post-Junta Britain TL

Clearly James May a radicalized Welsh separatist in this TL.
While Hammond escaped to United States and is living the best life, co-hosting a car show with Jay Leno.
"Footage has emerged that appears to implicate Jeremy Clarkson of being involved in an atrocity during the final years of the Junta". The footage filmed in October 2003 and allegedly narrated by Clarkson appears to show the apparent execution and burial at sea of an unknown presumed political prisoner referred to only as "The Stig".

The anonymity and rather unusual and creative manner of "The Stig's" demise has fuelled speculation regarding his identity and alleged crimes against the junta.
Investigations of surviving Junta era archives have failed to uncover "The Stig's" identity. However snippets of information have allowed investigators to begin building a psychological profile of "The Stig". Based on what has been uncovered so far some say the following about him:
He had no face
He was terrified of Scouts
The drinks cabinet in his car contained 14 different types of custard
His favourite T-shirt had a picture of a T-shirt
He was confused by stairs
He never blinked
He naturally faced magnetic north
He had a digital face
He only knew two facts about ducks both of which were wrong.
He refused to acknowledge the existence of Nottinghamshire
He couldn't eat mashed potato for religious reasons
There were seventeen different reasons why he was banned from the North Hampton branch of Little Chef
The Scottish released him a little bit too soon

When questioned by reporters allegations of his involvement in this particular atrocity and the identity of the mysterious leather and helmet clad individual Clarkson simply stated "All we know is he's called The Stig".
New Statesman Article 2019 National Leadership Election
Who will replace William Hague? The runners and riders for National leader

By Patrick Maguire

William Hague has announced he will resign as National leader, firing the starting gun on a leadership race to replace him.

These are all the runners and riders to become Britain's next prime minister.

Deputy Prime Minister Jeremy Clarkson


One of the early favourites. Surviving four years as Deputy has earned him the respect of colleagues. The 59-year-old is seen as one of the most active members of the cabinet, with eye-catching announcements on animal welfare and women's rights. He has also been one of Mr Hague's most loyal ministers, being sent out to face the media at difficult moments for the government. Clarkson was the favoured son but he has featured heavily in the Harrison inquiry which has strongly hurt his stock both within and without the party. But Clarkson is still an experienced media operator and a hit on the telly, don't count him out just yet

Agriculture Secretary Tim Cross


The hardliner’s hardliner - when you imagine a National MP you probably imagine Mr Cross, a former General and committed Anglican, in his time as Agriculture Minister he spent more time railing against the EU or abortion rather than waving the flag for British farmers. Cross allies say he is the best candidate to bring back wayward Centrist voters, but if he wins reformist MPs will start looking for the door.

Foreign Secretary David Davis


Davis has served in every National Shadow Cabinet since 2005, one of the few people on this list who had governing experience under the Junta - although that’s unlikely to play in his favour. Davis has moved from Juntista bruiser to libertarian ideology, calling to abolish national ID cards and relaxing regulation on housing developers. Whilst Davis’ manic politics have won him friends across the party, his advanced age and role in the Harrison affair are likely to hurt his chances.

Industry Secretary Arlene Foster


The bruiser from Northern Ireland, Foster is one of only two women on this list, and the only candidate from Northern Ireland. Foster has become a hate figure among trade unions and green activists for her harsh labour policies as Industry Secretary and disdain for renewable energy. Still this has won her the adoration of party loyalists, National in Northern Ireland has long been a bastion for the party, they’ve already had one Ulster leader - why not another?

Chief Whip Michael Gove


Hague made the move from the whips office to Downing Street, maybe his Chief Whip Michael Gove could do the same? A terminal gossiper Gove knows every MP’s dirty secret and where all the bodies are buried. He doesn’t lack ambition with friends saying he longs for the party leadership, but his reputation for gossip and treachery is unlikely to win him friends with fellow National MPs.

Hampshire MP Penny Mordaunt


One of National’s Young Turks - backbench MPs elected after 2009 - Morduant is the only other woman on this list and one of the few people who can say they had nothing to do with the Harrison scandal. Her political beliefs are an ideological scattergun, a eurosceptic who has called for people to “move on” from the Junta years - who is also an outspoken supporter of abortion rights and equal marriage, certainly one to watch.

Chancellor Nicholas Soames


At 72 years old it remains to be seen if Soames will run for another term in Parliament, let alone for leader. Yet his grandfather Winston Churchill was 78 when he re-entered Downing Street in 1951. Soames is a reformist, with a long pedigree within the National Party., and is generally seen to have been a decent Chancellor. But as the money man he can’t avoid questions around Mr Harrison’s dealings - he might want to lay low for a while.

Cumbria MP Rory Stewart


A former spook Stewart was in Kabul when the Junta fell. Known to be fiercely intelligent and a real adventurer, he once walked from one end of Afghanistan to another. Whilst his spy background has earned him unfavourable comparisons to Vladimir Putin, Stewart is generally seen as a liberal within the National Party and committed strongly to the EU. He is seen as Brussel’s preferred candidate for party leader. Although this is unlikely to win him friends with party hardliners.

Kent MP Tom Tugendhat


Another former spook, Tugendhat was a military intelligence officer and speaks fluent arabic, also spending the end of Mountbattenism in the Afghan sun. The youngest person on this list Tugendhat was just elected in 2012, before having worked for the Khan Commission working to De-Mountbattenise the military after the coup in 2009. Like Stewart, Tugendhat has the military background and the private education you’d expect from a National MP, coupled with a reformist mindset and europhilic ideals.

North Eastern Scotland MP Ben Wallace


The only Scot on this list, in fact the only National MP in Scotland after the pounding the party’s taken north of the wall. Wallace is a favourite of the militarists, deeply committed to the army and its role within British politics. Since moving from Scottish to federal politics Wallace has impressed through his tough language against Scottish separatists and his role as part of Hague’s negotiating team with the Scottish Government.
Arlene Foster as PM is both an exciting (from a reader's view) and terrifying (for in-universe secessionists) thought if that happens it's gonna go bang big time. The runoff will be her and Clarkson I'm calling it now.
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Arlene Foster as PM is both an exciting (from a reader's view) and terrifying (for in-universe secessionists) thought if that happens it's gonna go bang big time. The runoff will be her and Clarkson I'm calling it now.
It would be interesting, should she become PM, to see what TTL's version of the cash for ash scandal would be.
Chapter 105: Dissent Amongst the Ranks

Hague had many flaws, but he had managed to hold National together - no small feat

“William Hague was the patient man of British politics, rewarded in 2012 at his second attempt to lead the National to victory in a general election. Then, seven years later, he became the first prime minister in modern history to be forced from office by a no-confidence vote. Mr Hague's supporters had seen him as the crisis manager who averted an economic bailout. They see him as an effective leader capable of maintaining the country's unity as the separatist movement hit tense heights. Yet his critics accused him of favouring economic shock therapy, hitting the poorest the hardest. Friend and foe alike agreed that Hague was not the most charismatic of politicians but Mr Hague, in fairness, did not promise fireworks. As Mr Hague departed, he told MPs that it was "an honour to leave a better Britain than I found it"
- William Hague - the patient man of British politics, BBC News Bulletin

There was no obvious successor to William Hague, Jeremy Clarkson and David Davis had been shadow-boxing for the position for months now, but with both of them implicated in the Harrison case their approval ratings went into free-fall. Other leading Cabinet Members had similar faults Nicholas Soames and Michael Clapp were both too old and Jo Swinson was too liberal. Many in the party were calling for a generation shift, to bring in a new candidate from the backbenches, preferably someone who had come to power in a democratic post-Junta world, who could bring the party forward as a normal centre-right European political party.

Several of these “young turks” had played limited or back-room roles in the Junta, many of them had been intelligence or diplomatic officers, spending the messy downfall of the regime abroad. The left-wing press would dub these young up and coming spies as “generation spook”, and unkind comparisons to the rise of Vladimir Putin were made by some. The favoured of this faction of young reformists was Tom Tugendhat, at just 44 he was a rare young man in an overwhelmingly older Parliamentary caucus. Tugendhat had an impeccable Junta pedigree with his father being a military judge and Uncle being a member of the Hill-Norton era Parliament.


Tugendhat had been a protege of First Lord Mike Jackson

More than that Tugendhat had reached the rank of Colonel, and in a party that respected rank above all, that brought him a lot of sway. Tugendhat was a strange mix of policies, he was unashamedly unionist, calling for stronger sanctions against the Scottish exiles, but was also strongly europhilic and socially liberal. In short there was something for everyone across the party spectrum. While Tugendhat had once been a rank outsider, with the party leadership in disarray and the People’s Alliance in ascendance, members were starting to look for a fresh start. As poll after poll showed corruption as voters’ primary issues, Tugendhat’s backers were eager to present him as this much needed head start.

For the party establishment two candidates emerged, Deputy Prime Minister Jeremy Clarkson and Industry Secretary Arlene Foster. Despite being in rather senior roles, both were seen as relative mavericks in the party, Clarkson for his support of animal welfare and a woman’s right to choose, and Foster by virtue of being a senior woman in a patriarchal party. Still both had managed to claw their way to the top as competent media performers, and were now jostling to prove themselves as Hague’s successor. If the contest had been held a few months earlier, it would have been a straight heat between Clarkson and Davis, but the Harrison scandal has destroyed Davis and mortally wounded Clarkson.

“Although Harrison is by far the most high-profile corruption scandal in the UK, it is far from the only case. This points to an unhealthy culture of corruption in the country. As you’d expect, opposition parties, the largest being the UPA have pledged to tackle corruption. But, it is important to note that SDP has its own corruption scandals currently before the courts. All the main political parties have been involved in alleged wrongdoing. There may be signs of a new climate of accountability, but. This week a UPA MP resigned as media reports revealed that he had withheld taxes. Politicians linked to previous scandals have been far more stubborn. At this critical juncture, Transparency International urges all parties to join forces against impunity.” - What’s Next for the UK’s Struggle with Political Corruption, Transparency International (2019)


Clarkson had found himself as the unlikely establishment candidate

Clarkson had also angered party grassroots through his role as acting Scottish President during the constitutional crisis. Clarkson had been relatively lenient on the separatists, at least compared to Hague and other Cabinet colleague, he had been open to negotiations with Harvie and had refused calls to send more troops over the border, much to the anger of those in National who would rather nuke Glasgow then allow Scotland to leave the union. Many party bigwigs had never fully trusted Clarkson, a civilian journalist commanding colonels and majors was something the hardliners were unlikely to come to terms with. Clarkson had one trump card and that was his relative popularity, with an approval rating of only minus 23, a good result considering all that had happened.

Foster on the other hand tried to tread the line between party establishment and the conservative faction. Whilst she had never been an officer she had been a strong supporter of the military’s role in British politics. Foster was also the most eurosceptic of the leading candidates, having been against Britain joining the euro. Finally Foster was by far the most experienced of the candidates, having been an MP since the days of Hill-Norton. Fosters’ aides hoped if she could lock down the establishment and conservative blocs of the party, whilst Tugendhat took the liberals, she could squeeze Clarkson out of the race entirely, using Clarkson’s second preferences to squash Tugendhat.

Whilst these three would dominate the race, three minor candidates would also have a crack at the top job, annoyingly for Foster they all came from the right of the party. These three candidates were Penny Morduant, Ben Wallace and Nadhim Zahawi. Wallace ran as the candidate for those who thought Foster was too moderate, a leader for the “nuke Glasgow” brigade. Morduant and Zahawi seemed to be running for a laugh with both holding a series of seemingly random and contradictory policies. Still with four candidates from the right, one from the left and one from the centre, things were looking difficult for Foster.

“Patriotic, monarchist and liberal, Tom Tugendhat has reversed his role as a nobody to a likely candidate for victory. The Harrison affair has benefited him, but the duel at the top of the National Party has also helped. As Jeremy Clarkson and Arlene Foster duel it out, they free the path of the third man. The election has shown his skills as a communicator and he consolidated his pitch for novelty. He could not be blamed for cases of corruption, nor could he be identified with the generation of opulence, impunity and dictatorship - as long as you don't mention Tudgendhat’s Junta lineage. Mike Jackson is Tugendhat's godfather and his father Judge Michael Tugendhat presided over the prosecution of some of the Junta's most notable political prisoners.” - Tom Tugendhat, the puppy has fangs, Mattha Busby, The Guardian (2019)


Tugendhat had to reconcile his change message with his Mountbattenite heritage
Chapter 106: Captain on Deck
Author's correction, the wikibox should say 3-4th of February


National faced dire polling and electoral annihilation

“According to a YouGov poll, if elections were held today, the UPA would win with 34% of the vote. It would be followed by National and Unity tied with 15% of the votes, the SDP which would come in third place with 13% of the vote, and the Centrists on 8%. Thus, according to the pollster the UPA would improve the result in 2016 by 13 points, which gave it 103 seats in the Commons. Although it remains behind the result three years ago that National won at the polls, 36% of the vote. Despite this strong result National was a long way from the absolute majority. Unity, far from running out of political ground, sits in joint second place, two points higher than what it achieved in 2016. National, for its part, continues to lose support, in line with the exhaustion that the Hague government was already suffering.”
- UPA Consolidates Lead in Polls, Adam Bienkov, Business Insider (2019)

As Tugendhat surged and Foster fell in polls, the three-way battle for control of the National Party became increasingly bitter as more activists were forced to choose sides. Clarkson got the endorsement of party bigwigs including former Theresa May, Ken Clarke, Ian Blair and Nicholas Soames. Tugendhat meanwhile received the backing of Tim Collins, Mike Jackson and Nick Clegg. Tugendhat’s campaign also became more aggressive and less deferential to party leadership, he repeatedly twisted the knife around Clarkson’s corruption allegations warning Clarkson was “denying reality” by refusing to talk about his role in National’s various slush funds.


Hague had left the party in quite a mess

Clarkson was clearly uncomfortable as an establishment figure, he had built his political brand around a “straight-talking” blokey persona. But as the party’s Deputy Leader for nearly four years he now found himself as the man in the grey suit, facing down the next generation. Clarkson also struggled to find a base within the party, seemingly flip flopping between a liberal reformer and a party traditionalist depending on the audience he was speaking to. Clarkson was roundly mocked for telling the Guardian he supported a 15 week ban on abortion in one interview, whilst saying he supported an 11 week ban on a Express roundtable.

With Clarkson in trouble it should have been a perfect opportunity for Foster to flourish, but she was struggling with her own right flank as Ben Wallace grew among the party’s fundamentalists. Foster had long been the Cabinet’s “attack dog” sent out to bat for the leadership on bad news days and generally be unpleasant on question time, whilst this loyalty was admirable - the airwaves were filled with embarrassing gaffes and clips from when Foster had lost it on television. Despite being associated with National’s conservative faction, she had still served under Hague, suffering from the corruption allegations and all the other issues that came with loyal service. As Foster fell from second to third place in the polls, many fundamentalists began to move to Wallace.


Foster's plans to absorb hardline delegates was backfiring

“Arlene Foster has focused a large part of her campaign on her political career within the party and harsh criticism of the other candidates. Although in one speech she emphasised that she is not running "against anyone " because that would be "very petty". "I have always stood up for the National Party and they have knocked me down many times. "I have always been for and for my party", she has remarked on several occasions to make it very clear that she is presenting herself "to win, to win and to win". "I know what it means to win elections", he insisted after recalling that she was the only candidate to have led National to victory in a regional election. The Industry Secretary has admitted to being "too trusting" of some within the party - but denied involvement in any slush funds.”
- Foster: I have given everything to the National Party, Lisa O'Carroll, The Guardian (2019)

As party delegates arrived in Bristol for the vote, talk inevitably turned to the next election, Alan Sugar had confirmed Unity would not return to Government if the party was led by anyone associated with the Harrison case - essentially ruling out Clarkson and Foster. With National slipping to second place in the polls Tugendhat’s supporters made a last minute pitch to MPs and other elected officials, warning he was the best placed person to secure their plush jobs and ministerial cars. This was rewarded as several leading MPs who had been backing Clarkson announced they would be defecting to the Tudgenhat camp. This included chief whip Michael Gove - one of the most powerful people in the party. Gove’s treason would never be forgotten by Clarkson loyalists.


The first day of the conference was a clear victory for Tugendhat, having captured the liberal vote and most of the party’s middle en-masse. For Clarkson and Foster the results were disastrous, especially for the Industry Secretary, who fell to just 12% of the delegate count - Wallace’s last minute surge had scattered the hardliner vote. Tugendhat and Clarkson would go through to the second round the next day. Whilst Tugendhat was just 4% away from winning the leadership, securing that 4% would be a difficult challenge as most of the freed delegates came from National Associations linked to the right of the party. At the same time though, many Clarkson backers began to see ill omens - they had backed the Deputy Prime Minister as someone to bring stability and unity to the party, if he couldn’t win a first round vote, how could he take on Bell Ribeiro-Addy?


Clarkson struggled with the ruthless back room dealing of National politics

Clarkson’s remaining moderate backers like Ken Clarke feared even if he took the leadership, he would be trapped in the pocket of the party’s hardliners. The next day many of them jumped to team Tudgendhat to try and show a united front for the media. Tugendhat would win a commanding victory of 58% to 42%. The young Kent MP had gone from an unknown backbencher to Prime-Minister designate in just three weeks. Now he had to propose a Cabinet, get Unity back on board and prevent a snap election. The Cabinet would be the hardest of these challenges, Tugendhat had to build a top team that both appealed to Unity, without angering the hardliners or prompting any defections to the Centrists.

“I would like to thank all the candidates, especially Jeremy because to build a new team we have to do it together. With the responsibility of belonging to the best party in the UK, one of the largest in Europe. With the satisfaction of having transformed our society as long as we have governed - at a national level, local level and regional level. And with the ambition of the future knowing that there is no time to waste and that our United Kingdom needs us more than ever. Know that it is our principles, our ideas and our values that most represent all Brits. Neither yesterday nor tomorrow is written. It depends on us, it depends on you, I need you by my side. From this Congress we will once again have in Government a Strong National Party that will continue to transform Britain for our children. Thank you very much.” - Tom Tugendhat Victory Speech (2019)


Tugendhat promised to be a coalition builder and an election winner, now he had to walk the walk
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Can see it in 3 weeks time: In other news, Michael Gove was found dead this morning. He seemingly slipped on a bit of soap in the bathroom and broke his neck. While some reports state that a man in a white racing suit and helmet were spotted leaving his hotel in the late hours, these have been rejected as speculation by the Met.

Wouldn't be a British political timeline without a bit of Gove treachery though
Noooooo!!!! This is unacceptable. Clarkson should've been PM. There are no ifs and buts. The only person who can rejuvenate the Nationals is Clarkson with his impeccably flawless vision full of substance. All corruption cases are baseless and fabricated by the enemies of the British state such as UPA, SDP, Rise and whoever makes fun of Clarkson.
And no I'm not bitter, I'm just passionate. /S.
Speaking of Jeremy's whatever happened to the Jeremy Corbyn of TTL?
Corbyn lived in exile in South America during the Junta years, having been backpacking their whilst a student - both his parents were arrested as known socialist activists so he was unable to return home.

After the return of democracy he would join the Socialist Alternative and be elected as provincial legislator and then an MEP. He still serves as an MEP now for the United People Alliance.